Himadri Speciality to Invest Rs 220 Cr in Bengal for Carbon Black Expansion


HimadriHimadri Speciality Chemical Ltd, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer based in Kolkata, is set to expand its specialty carbon black capacity in West Bengal through a brownfield expansion project. The project involves an estimated investment of Rs 220 crores and is expected to be operational within the next 18 months. Located in Singur in the Hooghly district, the expansion will be funded through internal accruals and aims to meet the increasing demand from Europe amid an impending ban on Russian carbon black imports in the European Union (EU).

The expansion project will add an additional capacity of 70,000 tonnes per annum, raising Himadri’s specialty carbon black capacity to 1.3 lakh tonnes per annum. This move will enhance the company’s cumulative capacity to 2.5 lakh tonnes from the current 1.8 lakh tonnes. According to Anurag Choudhary, CMD and CEO of Himadri Speciality Chemical Ltd, the expansion positions the company to take advantage of the increasing demand for specialty carbon black, especially in light of the EU’s impending ban on Russian carbon black imports.

Choudhary emphasized that the gradual increase in the proportion of high-margin specialty carbon black will not only enhance profitability but also diversify the product mix. Currently, exports contribute around 25% of Himadri’s turnover, but this figure is expected to rise to 35% in the next three years.

Upon completion, the expansion will make Himadri the world's largest specialty carbon black manufacturer at a single site. Himadri currently operates seven manufacturing facilities across India, with locations in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh. The company achieved a capacity utilization rate of 92% in FY23-24 and has witnessed substantial demand for its products.

Specialty-grade carbon black is extensively used as a pigment in products such as paints, coatings, inks, and toners. It commands a significant premium compared to regular-grade carbon black due to its specialized applications. Himadri is focusing on specialty carbon black, particularly in the energy storage sector, due to its exceptional electrical conductivity, making it an ideal conductive additive in lithium-ion batteries.

Himadri has introduced and promoted its range of high-performance specialty carbon blacks tailored for niche applications in plastics, fibers, coatings, inks, and other industries. Additionally, the company is setting up India’s first commercial lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) cathode active material facility. Himadri has also partially acquired a stake in Invati Creations and Australian startup Sicona Battery Technologies to produce high-quality lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery materials.

In the March quarter, the company reported a 49% increase in net profit, reaching Rs 115 crore compared to Rs 77 crore in the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter stood at Rs 1,177 crore, up from Rs 1,029 crore year-on-year, while EBITDA increased by 45% to Rs 177 crore.

For FY24, the company achieved an annualized revenue of Rs 4,185 crore and a net profit of Rs 410 crore, turning net debt-free. This financial performance underscores Himadri's robust growth and solidifies its position as a key player in the specialty chemicals industry.